•  Anton Georgescu
•  Attilio Mina


Anton Georgescu


Bar in Buffalo


He must be in a business trip. They both must be. She doesn’t look at all like a hooker: massive body, solidly built with thick, flabby thighs and a large bosom…  A rather stocky appearance. She’s dressed up like a businesswoman, with a black suit, skirt instead of pants. She’s not a beautiful woman, alluring yes, desirable, a lot. Arising the sexual appetite. Oh, yeah. Stirring up the hunger for hug and fuck, the jet engine powering our fulgurate passing through the low skies of eventless days descending into eventful nights. The kind of woman your fantasy gets enticed to play with, to place her in all kind of kinky scenes in a hotel room. The hotel rooms, the world old stages for private sex performances. Rich acting, basic props:  a large, soft bed taking most of the space. Unleashed sex, rough at times, hasty most of the time, pleasure pouring in like a raging torrent, sweeping into oblivion the last remnants of a mediocre day. He seems to know that. With his conqueror smile firmly stuck on his face, a smile that’s both sugary and mannish, barely resembling the hasty sketch of a hand cupping her lips in its palm, losing them in the shadows of a passionate kiss, he keeps whispering words into her ear. Meaningless words, muted words, invisible, still powerful, words seeming insubstantial from afar, skewed by the imperceptible moves of the lips. Their invisible bodies undulating in a tacit rhythm, sending strong vibrations through the thick air of the hotel atrium filled with people, chattery people, silly people. People caught in a frenzy of a drink and fuck contest. Whoever stands up at the end of the night is a winner. Whoever fucks tonight is a winner. Everybody can win tonight.  The men craft mostly without skill or conviction love phrases with content that doesn’t matter. The women don’t even try to make out what they say, however they encourage their struggles to be charming by laughing out loud and sticking their eyes into the men’s eyes. Amazonians aiming to their prey powerful darts with their tips dipped in poisonous allurement. Is a concert hall around the bar: the people’s mouths are the instruments, their sexual courting the music score.  It’s the time before the presentation, when everyone tunes up their instruments and the air is filled with atonal refrains emitted by their throats, gurgling with desire, powered by both the hunter’s and the hunted’s adrenaline, both looking to add another trophy to their private collection of sexual conquers. 

The two lovers’ hands are entangled, their elbows resting on the narrow table with a round top made of glass. The man massages hers while talking slowly, close to her face. He seems efficient: step by step, patiently, calculated, takes possession of her. They are both perched up on tall bar stools, separated from the noisy mob crowding the bar’s counter. A humanity in miniature. Big and small, large and lanky, handsome and ugly, laughing excited or looking aloof, morose, all celebrating or mourning in their own ways the end of another day,  a day that brought them one step closer to the irrefutable end, the finish line of one’s transient performance in the never ending show … I can bet this thought doesn’t occupy anybody’s mind, it is of no importance now, in the vast hotel lobby that’s been built with skills and gusto by people who may not even be among us. It’s the Hyatt Regency hotel, in downtown Buffalo, late in the night, a rainy, windy autumn night…. The modern building is sitting erect and aloof, in the lap of a history that doesn’t want to talk to us anymore. Old buildings lay around, tired, jaded, skeptical of a present that lacks majesty. Or the ability to survive with honor, be passed like a piece of good history to the next generations of peoples’ memories. I sit on one of the stools propped in front of the bar counter, realizing that I developed a like for the barman, a young chap who seems totally absorbed by what he’s doing, looking proud, involved, displaying the stance of a doctor in a trauma center, who works frantically at saving lives in peril. Then I reconsider: this guy is indeed a doctor of some sorts. He mends hurt souls, disinfects injured egos, treats his patients with the best medicine one can prescribe for deflated hopes: the alcohol. I am leaning on the bar’s top that’s made out of glass and is lit from inside by long, thin fluorescent tubes shedding a hallo of dark blue light, inviting the melancholy to the feast. The atmosphere would be that of a fairy tale, if it were not so sexually loaded. Or maybe I’m wrong. Sex is a fairy tale. It’s the only fairy tale which we could afford to cherish, get addicted to, re-live it daily. Well, almost daily. 

The only cocktail I know how to make is Manhattan. I ask the barman to make me a Manhattan. I’m curious to find out if his has the same taste with mine. To validate with a pro if I’m any good at making a Manhattan. “Sir, would you like bourbon or whiskey?” he asks me with an obvious deference in his voice, which makes me feel old, but then he doesn’t wait for my answer, which makes me feel young again. He points me right away to a bottle of Maker’s Mark he has on the table and decrees:   ”I prefer bourbon…”  To which I nod and say, laughing: ”Follow your instincts.” I was about to say “young chap” but I stopped: what the heck am I, Mister Haughty Fart? He doesn’t laugh back, doesn’t even respond, sets out in earnest at preparing my drink: two parts bourbon, one part vermouth, three dashes of bitter. Then he puts a cherry on a stick which places with an expert gesture in the glass. I know the recipe, that’s the way I’m preparing it too. I feel happy, accomplished. I am part of the world. I belong to this world. I tip him generously, he gives me back an overflown thanks. I take a sip from my drink: tastes the same with what I do. Suddenly I feel flooded with pride. 

I search with my eyes the two lovers at the far up table. I almost forgot about them, with my attention drawn by the cocktail in making. I see them now. They keep doing their love ritual. His smile is now even deeper carved on his face, luminous, playful, shinning like a beacon in the night. It works. Her robe has raised a couple of inches up her legs, her thighs show up in their plenitude, strikingly white in the dark blue light of the bar. Alluring. Tempting. Mind abandoned to debauchery, captive into a lascivious cage that’s built from body fantasy material. Glittery shadows. White body sculptures in the deep dark caves of our carnal desires. Good sex is the biggest reward of a day that didn’t count for anything else other than a countdown to the final gong. Sex is the way to fight and lose with no regrets to the formidable enemy: our by-design finitude. 

Behind me a funny couple prepares a night that is not going to last long: they are both drunk, and bound by an impromptu, queer communication, filled with nonsensical drunken talk. They throw at each other, with obvious difficulty, slurred words that refuse to stretch out, come back to nonsense like stubborn elastics. Their verbal exchange sounds like the chat of two immigrants, thrown ashore in a foreign land, the country of the sober people. She keeps in her hands a crystal vase that miraculously survived the constant sway. That vase seems to be the only piece of stability in the shaky landscape of the drunken humanity surrounding it. The tipsy, to-be lovers keep courting each other with the added bravery of the alcohol. They’re going to have sex, of course, but their sex is going to be short, pointless. Tomorrow morning they’re not even going to remember what they’ve done. How they felt. If they really enjoyed the person they’ve been intimate with. They exposed to, mingled with their own bodies. Tomorrow is another day. 

The two lovers in the distant corner have vanished. They escaped my discreet monitoring, perhaps headed up to their room. It’s about time. I am going towards the elevators. I feel tired, however fulfilled with a sense of accomplishment. It’s not happening every day that you leave a bar proud of your skills: my Manhattan is first class. It passed the public test. While walking with cautious steps, at intervals straight hobbling, I suddenly spot them in the lobby area, about fifteen feet away. Now I can see he’s a bit shorter than her. His conqueror smile doesn’t seem to be so dominant anymore. She has a big bottom, but that doesn’t change anything. The man says something to her, and slightly rising on his feet, plants a kiss on her lips. A rather sisterly kiss. Then he lets her hand going gracefully off his hand and says: “Good-bye now, see you next week! Call me when you are done here, so I can pick you up!” She replies a short good-bye then she turns, heading to the elevators. Motionless he follows her involuntary, womanly sway down the hall with his eyes still lit with desire, with that smile still lingering on his face, then he turns, heading to the revolving doors framed by a fluorescent red sign above: Exit. Then she calls after him, saying something out loud, that made him stop and turn his head: “What?” She repeats: “Don’t forget to drive Sydney to the dentist. They left a voice mail. She has an appointment on Wednesday, at 10AM.” He waves his hand in a curt sign of acknowledgement. 

Outside the night is cool and windy. The rain dances tap on the sidewalk.

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Attilio Mina

[Scorrere il testo verso il basso per la versione in lingua italiana]


Moby Dick


Astfel ar trebui sã fie zilele de lenevealã!

O apã verde, liniºtitã, adâncã în faþa ochilor, o adiere de vânt, un pic de rãcoare. Un cer întins, încruntat, arcuit ºi înalt, ca o cupolã peste copaci, coline, munþi, orizont. O înºiruire neîntreruptã de zile egale, luminoase, rare intercalãri de ploi furtunoase cu fulgere orbitoare, care sã taie întunecarea neaºteptatã a zilei.

Am uitat orele, atâtea dupã-amieze de varã pe care le petreceam în stepa de pe platoul lacului Mordina. Am uitat de câte ori am înconjurat cu grijã undiþele de pe maluri ºi cât de în zadar, de pe malul înnâmolit, am cercetat cu privirea cãtre adâncul adâncurilor apelor. La umbra ramurilor legãnate ºi subþiri ale salciilor care mângâiau apa, cocoþat pe un trunchi, lãsam orele sã treacã. În legãnarea uºoarã a cetelor dese de bambuºi, uitam timpul privind la jocul diafan al luminii pe impenetrabila transparenþã a apei. În desiºuri pasãrile cântau.

Se vorbea cã lacul e plin de mistere. Se vorbea despre poveºti de rãzboi ºi de bombe cãzute. (Oamenii povesteau de containere cu grenade aruncate în lac de germanii ce se retrãgeau în 1945). Se spunea cã fundul mâlos te prindea de picioare ºi te trãgea la fund; dar bãieþii, când de jur împrejur nu era nimeni, sub soarele dogorâtor, se aruncau în apã oricum: goi, în strigãturi ºi scãlâmbãieli. De-a lungul anilor, câte unul nu ajungea iarna ºi se ducea, într-adevãr, la fund.

Se vorbea despre peºti care adulmecau la firul apei spre mal, fãcând sã se vadã dungi negre ºi dinþi de fildeº: mari, puternici în stare sã rupã oþelul (îmi place asta!)  sã smulgã ºi sã tragã undiþele în mugetul spargerii valurilor. Pisici de America, nemaivãzute la noi: vorace, nesãþioase, agere; puternice chiar ºi pentru bãrbaþii în toatã firea. Se spunea cã între grote ºi tainiþe, pe fund, îºi aveau vizuina în gropile de tuf din insuliþele artificiale cu docuri, ce împânzeau partea vesticã a lacului.

Unul, un demon negru, pãrea cã scapã pescarilor celor mai abili, trãgând împletiturile de fire strãlucitoare. Avea gura ºi branhiile strãpunse de ace argintii: licãreau în amurg, în lumina însângeratã. În stufãriº, în unde, apa fierbea înspumatã caldã, deja.

“... ªi era acolo unde au avut loc cele mai multe din întâlnirile fatale cu balena albã; acele valuri erau impregnate cu urmele sale ºi acolo se afla acel loc tragic ...” [H. Melville, Moby Dick, XLIV, p.83]

Era uºor, în clipele acelea, sã treci dincolo de timpul acela nemiºcat, de acea apã placidã, într-un alt timp, într-un alt ocean: visând cu ochii deschiºi cã eºti tânãr ºi ºi cã eºti Ahab cel al celor o sutã de ani ºi o sutã de mãri!

Traducere din italianã: Camelia Cãprariu. Iatã ºi varianta originalã:



Moby Dick


Così devono essere i giorni dell’ozio!

Acqua verde, calma, profonda davanti: un alito di vento, frescura intorno. Un cielo piatto, violento, tanto bombato e alto da far coperchio ad alberi, colline, montagne, orizzonte. Un seguito ininterrotto di giornate uguali, accecanti: radi intercalare di fragorosi rovesci di pioggia, lampi abbaglianti a spezzare la notte improvvisa del giorno. Avevo scordato le ore, le tante mezze giornate che nelle estati avevo trascorso nel brugo dell’altopiano all’acqua della Mordina[i].

Dimenticato quanto spesso ne avessi cautamente circoscritto i canneti alle sponde e quanto invano dalla riva melmosa avessi cercato con l’occhio il fondo del fondo di tutto il ristagno. All’ombra dei rami penduli e sottili dei salici che sfioravano l’acqua, accoccolato ad un tronco lasciavo le ore sfuggire. Nell’ondeggiare lieve di cespi di grossi bambù, lasciavo tempo alla vita per il sottile gioco della luce sull’imperscrutabile trasparenza dell’acqua. Nei macchioni gli uccelli cantavano.

Si diceva che il lago celasse misteri. Si diceva di storie di guerra e di bombe calate[ii]Si diceva che il fondo di melma prendesse alle gambe e trascinasse nel gorgo; ma i ragazzi, quando tutto d’intorno era vuoto, il sole tremendo, si davano in acqua ugualmente: nudi tra grida e schiamazzi. Negli anni qualcuno non tirava l’inverno e finiva davvero nel fondo.

Si diceva di pesci che fiutavano il pelo dell’acqua alla riva mostrando neri bargìgli e denti d’avorio: grandi, possenti da mordere il ferro[iii], strappare e trascinare le canne col fragore infranto dell’onda. Gatti d’America, mai visti prima da noi: voraci, insaziabili, astuti; forti anche per uomini fatti. Si diceva che tra grotte e segrete nel fondo avessero tana nei pertugi di tufo alla stele dell’isola[iv].

Uno, un nero demonio, pareva sfuggire ai pescatori più avvezzi e trascinava matasse di fili lucenti. Aveva bocca e branchie passate da ami argentati: guizzava al tramonto nella luce segnata dal sangue. Al canneto, nella scia, ribolliva di spuma l’acqua ormai calda.

“…Ed era là che aveva avuto luogo la maggior parte degli scontri mortali con la balena bianca; quelle onde erano istoriate con le sue imprese, e là si trovava quel punto tragico…[v]

Era facile allora, travalicare quel tempo immobile, quell’acqua placida in un altro tempo, in un altro mare oceàno: immaginare la vita, essere giovani ed essere Achab[vi] dei cento anni e cento mari!


[i] Laghetto della Mordina.[indietro]
[ii] La voce popolare racconta di carichi di granate gettate nel lago dai tedeschi in ritirata nell’aprile del 1945.[indietro]
[iii] L’amo.[indietro]
[iv] Minuscolo isolotto artificiale con darsena in grotta,  prospicente la sponda occidentale del laghetto.[indietro]
[v] Da:Melville, Moby Dick [indietro]
[vi] Mitico baleniere [indietro]

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